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Twitter Suspends Antifa-Linked Accounts Following Inauguration Day Riots
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghan Officials Optimistic About Ties with Biden Administration
[ToloNews] Following the US national security adviser’s phone call with Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib, hope has emerged among Afghan officials that Kabul’s ties with Washington will strengthen and more accurate information about the grinding of the peace processor--from the US side--will become available from the Biden administration.

Afghan officials said the former US administration did not share organized information about the grinding of the peace processor with the Afghan government.

"Previously, their (US’s) national security institutions did not have strong relations with us, but now we think that government-to-government and institution-to-institution relations will improve," National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said.

The United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday spoke with Mohib regarding the US commitment to the US-Afghan partnership and to peace for all the people of Afghanistan, according to a statement by the US National Security Council.

Sullivan underscored that the US will support the grinding of the peace processor with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire.

Sullivan also made clear the US's intention to review the February 2020 US-Taliban
...Arabic for students...
agreement, including to assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders, the statement said.

"They (Taliban) continue the violence. They don’t have a commitment to peace and they have maintained their ties with international terrorists," Mohib said.

Sources close to the Taliban said that there will be no change in the US-Taliban agreement signed last year in February.

"Such an attempt won't be considered. The stopping of Taliban movement against US and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
interest is in favor of the US and NATO. The cutting of ties of the Taliban with al-Qaeda is in favor of NATO and US," said Jalaluddin Shinwari, attorney general during Taliban regime in Kabul.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Afghan officials said the former US administration did not share organized information about the grinding of the peace processor with the Afghan government.

"Previously, their (US’s) national security institutions did not have strong relations with us, but now we think that government-to-government and institution-to-institution relations will improve," National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said.

In other news: Dog bites feeding hand.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/25/2021 6:31 Comments || Top||

#2  So far I'm not optimistic about anything that has come out of Week 1.
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/25/2021 7:53 Comments || Top||

#3  "There's plenty of slush in the money the US is sending, so we'll be sure to channel some to Hunter."
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 01/25/2021 9:23 Comments || Top||

Govt Prepares for Fighting Season as Peace Talks Crawl
[ToloNews] The Afghan government is preparing for ramped-up fighting amid slow progress in the peace negotiations in Doha, with National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib saying the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
does not want peace and that based on intelligence information, the group is making itself ready for the next fighting season.

Mohib said that the Taliban is trying to take power militarily, but he warned the group that he has visited all the various Afghan army corps and that all are ready for the next fighting season.

"The Taliban does not want peace. Our intelligence information from the National Directorate of Security
...the Afghan national intel agency...
shows that the Taliban is preparing to fight. They think that they will win militarily," Mohib said.

A new corps has been established under which all special forces from the Afghan National Army, the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan National Police and the Afghan Air Force will operate to suppress the Taliban, according to security officials.

"The obligation is on us to become fully prepared; therefore, we travel to all provinces and to all army corps to stand united and strong against them," Mohib said.

The slow progress in the negotiations between the Afghan republic and the Taliban negotiators has apparently reduced the Afghan government’s trust in the peace efforts as heads of security agencies said that the Afghan forces are ready to suppress the Taliban.

"The establishment of the new corps assures our people that they (Taliban) will be defeated in the new fighting season," NDS Chief Ahmad Zia Saraj said.

"We’re committed to peace, but if Afghanistan’s enemies and the Taliban choose war, they will have a strong response from the defense and security forces," said Interior Affairs Minister Massoud Andarabi.

The Afghan Army Chief of Staff, Yasin Zia, meanwhile said that with the release of over 5,000 Taliban prisoners by the government, the group has intensified its fighting in the south of the country.

"They (the Taliban) are an intelligence project. Their deeds are serving an intelligence agenda. Their discussions are for the purpose of intelligence. And they have no shared interest for their companions, let alone the people," Zia said.
Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Adviser, claimed that the Taliban negotiating team does not have the authority to make decisions. At a security meeting in Kabul, Mohib indicated that the Taliban peace delegation leaders are not authorized to make their own decisions and therefore wasting the time.

It is said that next spring could be the bloodiest years in 20 years unless talks come out with a result.

Hamdullah also hinted the media, that earlier American national security institutions did not had any strong relations with the Afghan government, and that he thinks “government to government” and “institution to institution” relations will further improve.

Jake Sullivan and Mohib had a conversation on Friday both spoke regarding peace process and US commitment in Afghanistan development and partnership.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

Africa North
LNA Says Turkey’s Interference Is Weakening Geneva Ceasefire
Posted by: Fred || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
The Fight For Nagorno-Karabakh: Documenting Losses
Some background to the recently concluded Nagorno-Karabakh war
By Stijn Mitzer in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN

[ORYXSPIOENKOP] Armed clashes which commenced early in the morning of the 27th of September 2020 over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh have so far caused considerable human and materiel losses on both sides. The renewed clashes are an extension of the three decades long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and at present the short-term implications can only be guessed at. While solid information regarding materiel losses is scarce, rumours fly wildly – and unconfirmed and false reports are readily repeated for propaganda purposes. This article will attempt to break down all confirmed material losses by carefully studying the footage made available by both warring parties.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnical and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, which are controlled by the self-declared Republic of Artsakh, but are internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan. The status of Nagorno-Karabakh has been disputed since 1918, when Armenia and Azerbaijan declared independence from the Russian Empire. In the early 1920s, the predominantly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous oblast within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1988, the regional legislature in Nagorno-Karabakh voted in favor of joining the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, a move that found little support in Moscow. Following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan took over control of large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to a significant Azerbaijani minority, as well as seven adjacent Azerbaijani districts.

In the ensuing fighting, an estimated 25.000 to 30.000 people were killed with many more displaced from their homeland. The separatists declared independence as the the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, only recognized by Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, themselves also unrecognized republics. In February 2017, the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic officially became known as the Republic of Artsakh.

Despite a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement in place since 1994, violations of the ceasefire occur at regular intervals, the most significant of which took place in 2016 and July 2020, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of soldiers and civilians. From July to September 2020, Azerbaijan conducted a series of military exercises with the participation of Turkey's ground and air forces, which likely strengthened Azerbaijan's perceived power and resolve to end the Karabakh conflict in its favour.

In addition to providing military training and equipment to Azerbaijan's military, Turkey has also begun exporting drones (and likely electronic warfare equipment) to Azerbaijan. [1] Dozens of Armenian soldiers awoke to this new reality on the 27th of September when Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs started releasing Roketsan MAM-L Smart Munitions over Armenian positions, striking at least three 9K33 Osa and three 9K35 Strela-10 mobile surface-to-air missile systems. These systems appeared just as unaware and incapable of tackling the drone threat overhead as the Russian Pantsir-S1s in Syria and Libya, and all were destroyed without ever knowing what hit them. Turkey's highly efficient use of drones and supporting electronics warfare systems has boosted its increasingly assertive international role and growing political and military weight (Bayraktar Diplomacy). It has now reached the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and will certainly influence the outcome of the current round of fighting.

The combat effectiveness of the Bayraktar TB2s reached such heights that Canada found itself forced to suspend drone technology sales to Turkey 'upon learning of allegations made regarding Canadian technology being used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh'. [2]

As the Bayraktar TB2 is outfitted with Canadian-produced sensors and laser targeting technology, this could temporarily slow production of Bayraktar TB2s (at least until domestic replacements become available). In reality, the ban on drone technology sales is likely to achieve little but to speed up the research and production of these indigenous replacements, making Turkey self-sufficient in yet another category of weapons manufacturing.
Posted by: badanov || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

Denmark sets a target of ZERO asylum seeker applications to protect 'social cohesion'
  • [Daily Mail, Where America Gets Its News] Danish PM Mette Frederiksen said country will drive down asylum applications

  • The country is already seeing the lowest number of asylum requests since 1998

  • Denmark's record low applications this year is partly explained by pandemic
Posted by: Fred || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6501 views] Top|| File under: Devout Moslems

Home Front: Politix
ICE Agents Ordered to Free All Illegal Aliens in Custody: ‘Release Them All'
[Breitbart] Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, tasked with enforcing federal immigration law, are being instructed to free all detainees in their custody, as President Joe Biden’s administration halts deportations.

An internal January 21 ICE memo, independently reviewed by Breitbart News and first reported by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, orders agents to "stop all removals," including land and air deportations.

In addition, the memo tells agents that "all cases" of detainees in ICE custody are now to be considered "no significant likelihood of removal in foreseeable future" — suggesting all detainees will need to be released.

"Release them all, immediately," the ICE official wrote to staff in the memo. Typically, if detainees do not have sponsors in the United States, agents can hold an individual in their custody. The memo, though, states that is no longer the case and that even detainees without sponsors must be released.

It is unclear if ICE is currently carrying out the mass release of all 14,195 detainees in its custody, 71.45 percent of whom are convicted criminals or have pending criminal charges. These detainees are currently held in approximately 138 facilities across the United States.
Posted by: Cravinter Whising8356 || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under: Human Trafficking

#1  Slow-walk everything. "We didn't get the memo. It must have gotten lost in the bureaucracy. I did see one of our canines chewing on something. We thought Biden was joking. We were waiting for clarification. You know Joey Xi is a little, er light-in-the-loafers."
Posted by: JohnQC || 01/25/2021 7:37 Comments || Top||

#2  From 30,000 feet, without a parachute?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/25/2021 16:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Even the criminals and human traffickers?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/25/2021 16:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Release them in quart zip loc bags after a trip thru a wood chipper.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 01/25/2021 18:00 Comments || Top||

US will work with Israel to build on regional normalization agreements: Biden national security adviser
A promise or a threat?
[AlAhram] The Biden administration will work closely with Israel on regional security issues and to build on the country's regional normalization agreements, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told his Israeli counterpart, according to a statement on Sunday.

"They discussed opportunities to enhance the partnership over the coming months, including by building on the success of Israel's normalization arrangements with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco," according to a statement on Sullivan's call on Saturday with Israel's Meir Ben Shabbat.

Sullivan also extended an invitation to begin a strategic dialogue in the near term, the statement said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Israel should bring it's own Vaseline?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/25/2021 5:09 Comments || Top||

#2  No mention of course of President Trump's dispatching of Kushner to the ME accomplish what no one else has yet to do, referred to here as "regional normalization agreements." No mention of the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/25/2021 6:15 Comments || Top||

#3  If Biden revives the Democrat game with Iran, how can Israel trust the administration?
Posted by: b || 01/25/2021 9:27 Comments || Top||

Israel okays deployment of U.S. Iron Dome batteries in Gulf states
Posted by: Fred || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

Israeli Cabinet authorizes normalization with Morocco
That damn Trump and his peace efforts
[JPost] Morocco has enjoyed bilateral benefits from Washington with US recognition of its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The cabinet approved Israel’s normalization agreement with Morocco in a unanimous vote on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the agreement "a historic moment after four peace agreements with four Muslim and Arab states in four months" and praised King Mohammed VI.

"Together we are advancing direct flights between the countries," he said. "It will happen soon — economic, trade, technological cooperation and the opening of missions in both countries."

Netanyahu also congratulated US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on entering office and said he expects to work with them "to strengthen the strong alliance between Israel and the US even more and expand the circle of peace between Israel and the Arab world for a real new Middle East and, of course, to deal with our shared challenges, foremost of which is the Iranian threat."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated King Mohammed VI "for his bold leadership."
Posted by: Frank G || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

5 refugees injured in fire at Erbil camp
[Rudaw] ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Five people were injured after a fire broke out at a refugee camp in Erbil province on Sunday morning.

Two women and three children sustained burns in Darashakran camp following a gas leak from a heater inside their home, officials have told Rudaw.

One of the children is in critical condition.

The heater exploded after electricity was restored following a power cut, Sarkawt Karash, spokesperson for Erbil’s Civil Defence police told Rudaw on Sunday.

Sarhan Muhammad, a relative of the family told Rudaw’s Hadi Salimi that one of the children is in a critical condition, and one of the women – the child’s aunt - has sustained 57 percent burns.

According to data provided to Rudaw English by camp official Dedawan Idris, there are approximately 2,540 families, around 11,600 people, living in Darashakran camp.

The camp hosts families from northeast Syria, also known as Rojava. In 2018, authorities moved residents from tents to small brick houses.

Fires and floods are commonplace in the many displacement and refugee camps across the Kurdistan Region.
Posted by: badanov || 01/25/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

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